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Lindt Truffles Teacher Appreciation Gift

2016 May 1
by Emily Hill

I can guarantee you’ll be your teacher’s favorite if you give her this super “sweet” Lindt truffles teacher appreciation gift with free printable gift tag.

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Lindt Truffles Teacher Appreciation Gift -- you will for sure be the favorite if you give your teacher a mason jar filled with Lindt truffles!

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Today I’m guest posting on Skip to My Lou and sharing what is quite possibly the quickest and easiest teacher appreciation gift idea. Believe it or not, this non-crafty gal got her craftiness on—or at least her “create a clever gift tag” on—and came up with this super cute way to gift Lindt truffles. I mean, just look at that tag!

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Lindt Truffles Teacher Appreciation Gift -- you will for sure be the favorite if you give your teacher a mason jar filled with Lindt truffles!

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I even took your run-of-the-mill red foil baking cup and turned it into the perfect accent piece. It’s like I’ve totally thought outside my little foodie box!

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Lindt Truffles Teacher Appreciation Gift -- you will for sure be the favorite if you give your teacher a mason jar filled with Lindt truffles!

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It really was simply an excuse to bust out the bag of coconut Lindor truffles I picked up at Costco. They are divine and not just because turquoise is one of my favorite colors.

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Lindt Truffles Teacher Appreciation Gift -- you will for sure be the favorite if you give your teacher a mason jar filled with Lindt truffles!

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If you’re ready to put together your own Lindt truffles teacher appreciation gift, check out the full tutorial with free printable gift tag on Skip to My Lou HERE.

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If you’re looking for more of “yummy” things, check out my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Super Mom Tee

2016 April 27
by Emily Hill

Tell Mom how you feel about her with this Super Mom tee designed by Paging Supermom and sold on Cents of Style. Gift set includes a pop art-inspired bracelets.

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Cents of Style Super Mom Tee from Paging Supermom
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Do you shop Cents of Style? No? Well, you should. Not only is the company’s founder, Courtney Brown, an amazing and inspiring entrepreneur but the clothes—especially tees and shoes—are fantastic. I am in LOVE with the Let’s Be Adventurers collection; I bet I could live in the Weekend swing dress all summer.

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Cents of Style Weekend Swing Dress
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Speaking of tees, my friend Bettijo over at Paging Supermom has designed a tee perfect for your Mother’s Day gift giving: the Super Mom tee!

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Cents of Style Super Mom Tee from Paging Super Mom
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The super mom tee is paired with a set of super cute, pop art-inspired bracelets and priced at $29.95 but through Friday, you can get $7 OFF with code SUPERMOM.

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Cents of Style Super Mom Tee from Paging Supermom
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Bettijo has also created a super adorable printable gift tag she’ll email to everyone who purchases the tee. Orders placed by Wednesday (TODAY) will be guaranteed for Mother’s Day delivery. Consider your Mother’s Day shopping complete!

To order the Super Mom tee, click on one of the above images or visit Cents of Style. Don’t forget to use code SUPERMOM for $7 off your fab gift set!

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If you’re looking for more of Mother’s Day gift ideas, check out my Mother’s Day Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2016 April 26
by Emily Hill

These healthy orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies feature orange zest, whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut and semisweet chocolate.

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!


Post may include affiliate links to help support my Diet Coke habit.

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Though these orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies may not be as healthy as a bowl of bran cereal, they are definitely healthier than a batch of old-fashioned iced oatmeal cookies.

That means you can eat at least two before second guessing going back for one more.

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!

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I love how dense, chewy and packed with flavor these orange oatmeal cookies are. It makes them irresistible when still warm and delightful when frozen. Oh, how I love eating frozen cookies!

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!

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The recipe calls for half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, but I bet you could totally go with a full 2 cups of whole wheat flour. If you do, maybe try whole wheat pastry flour for a bit lighter texture.

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!

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Using unsweetened coconut adds the right amount of flavor and texture without added sugar. It was difficult to find unsweetened coconut but I eventually located a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Flaked Coconut in the organic section of my local grocery store. I actually really love the larger flakes so much, I’m going to start using it in my chocolate chip coconut cookies and coconut chocolate chip saucepan bars. While you’re picking up a bulk order of that flaked coconut, don’t forget the cookie dough scoop!

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!

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Though these healthy orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies feature semisweet chocolate chips, you could totally substitute milk chocolate chips or raisins. And while I didn’t add any nuts, walnuts would be a super tasty addition!

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!

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Printable recipe for orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies below. Enjoy!
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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These deliciously healthy orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies feature orange zest, whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut and semisweet chocolate. Makes approx. 4 dozen.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 banana)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips or raisins)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and egg together in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in banana, vanilla and brown sugar. Fold in orange zest.
  3. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, oats, coconut, walnuts (optional) and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir until blended well.
  4. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Don't over mix!
  5. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheet. Gently press dough to flatten. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges turn golden brown and centers are set. Cool 2 to 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

 
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If you’re looking for more of yummy recipes, check out my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Maddie’s New Music Mondays: Disclosure

2016 April 25
by Emily Hill

This series is written by my daughter Madison. She has the absolute coolest taste in music. Post may include affiliate links to support my Diet Coke habit.

Wow. I’ve been listening to Disclosure for a long time. You’re probably familiar with their song “Latch” featuring Sam Smith. I really like the beat and electric influence in their songs, and they have catchy lyrics!

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Maddies New Music Mondays - Disclosure
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Wikipedia says their genres are “House, deep house, UK garage, synthpop, future garage, and UK Funky.” I didn’t really know what any of those meant so I looked them up:

House: genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s

Deep House: subgenre of house music, initially fusing elements of Chicago House with 1980s jazz-funk

UK Garage: (UKG) electronic music originating from the UK in the early 1990s; usually features a distinctive syncopated 4/4 percussion rhythm… you get the idea

Synthpop: (electropop or technopop) became prominent in the 1980s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument

Future Garage: incorporates influences from UK garage and 2-step garage, highly inspired by the work of Burial

UK Funky: (UKF) typically blends beats, bass loops, and synths with African and Latin percussion and contemporary R7B style vocals

Well okay.

The two songs I want you to listen to are “Jaded” and “When a Fire Starts to Burn.”

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Disclosure: Jaded

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Disclosure: When a Fire Starts to Burn

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“When a Fire Starts to Burn” is on our spring cleaning playlist—quite possibly one of the best (3-hour) Spotify playlists you’ll find!

You can also look up “Magnets” and “White Noise.”

Comment which one you preferred!

Creds to Wikipedia.

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Madison profile 150x150
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~ Maddie
xoxo

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Past New Music Mondays:

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Make Spring Cleaning Fun with the Perfect Playlist & an Impromptu Dance Party

2016 April 21
by Emily Hill

Make spring cleaning fun for everyone—grownups included—with the perfect playlist and an impromptu dance party!

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Spring cleaning dance party
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I love spring cleaning as much as I love yard work, which is not at all. Yes, I feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s done but I also feel a sense of accomplishment when I bake a batch of cookies. You tell me which one sounds like more fun.

Yeah, I thought so.

But spring cleaning is a necessity, especially in a home occupied by a family of six plus one dog and a revolving door of neighborhood kids. None of the aforementioned bodies enjoys seasonal sprucing and straightening, so to make it a lot more fun, we created a spring cleaning playlist. And it rocks.
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Our playlist features only a few mainstream songs because we’re all about new—or newly discovered—artists. Each song was chosen for its tempo, beat and catchy lyrics, but most importantly, they were chosen for their ability to cause an impromptu dance party!

That’s right, a dance party. If you really want to kick your spring cleaning up a notch, randomly select a song from our playlist (or your own playlist) and dub it the “dance party” song. When you hear that song come across the speakers, everyone has to stop what they’re doing and DANCE! If you’re playlist is longer like ours, choose a handful of songs or add your favorite dance party song multiple times. It is seriously so much fun, promise.
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A video posted by Emily Hill (@emihill) on

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Obviously “When a Fire Starts to Burn” by Disclosure is one of our favorites…

Though our new BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet makes it heard to hear Billy Idol’s “Can’t Break Me Down,” the inconvenience is totally worth it because of this girl.

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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Cute and as well trained as she is, when someone doesn’t hear her batting the bell on the backdoor, she heads one of two places: just outside the upstairs bathroom…

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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…or our bedroom.

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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The new BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet takes on even the toughest of tough stains. It has two cleaning settings: deep clean mode for tougher stains; express clean mode that leaves carpets dazzling and dry in one hour. The ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet is more lightweight than you’d think and easy to maneuver. Plus it has super amazing cleaning bristles that find treasures in the carpet even after the carpet’s been vacuumed. Trust me on this one.

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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We combined the 2X Pet Stain & Odor Remover and the Pet Oxy Boost Carpet Cleaning Formula Enhancer for a super powerful cleaning solution that permanently removes pet stains and odors thanks to oxygen in the enhancer. Pair that with Scotchgard™ and I think I’m finally going to beat Coco at her own game…or at least keep up with her and the kids.

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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BISSELL Carpet Cleaning Formulas with Scotchgard™ keep carpets—especially those in high-traffic areas—looking newer longer by cleaning, restoring and protecting carpet. Scotchgard™ works by placing a barrier on the surface of carpet fibers to protect against future stains. It repels spills, resists soils and blocks stains to protect carpet.

Look at what the BISSELL found in the section of carpet near the backdoor.

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Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Review -- if you have a pet OR kids, you will want this upright steam cleaner. For reals.
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Yeah, that’s totally not from the dog. I mean, just look at her face.

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Coco - our Yorkie Poodle Pomeranian
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Basically my home needs Scotchgard™ from top to bottom…

If you’re looking for the perfect BISSELL cleaning products to make your spring cleaning that much cleaner, visit BISSELL.com or retailers nationwide. You can also find BISSELL products at Walmart, which is awesome because you can grab a boomin’ Bluetooth speaker to blast our spring cleaning playlist throughout your home!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls. The content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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If you’re looking for more honest reviews, check out my ITRML reviews Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Best of Twined Giveaway with over $2500 in Prizes!

2016 April 20
by Emily Hill

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Winning some of your favorite products was never so easy thanks to a month-long Twined giveaway!

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Post may include affiliate links to help support my Diet Coke habit.

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Not sure if you remember, but last year I introduced you to Twined, a site that combines trusted product reviews and recommendations with the power of a community to unlock discounts on those products. I was one of their first Tastemakers and wrote two product recommendations. One of those products, the Holmes Smart Air Purifier, is currently part of a huge Twined giveaway featuring their “best of” products and over $2500 in prizes.

The Canon PIXMA MX920 printer isn’t part of the giveaway but it still rocks my color printing world.

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30 Days of Giveaways by Twined
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Through the month of April, Twined is giving away a variety of prizes, from Amazon gift cards to some of the most popular products on their site. You can find a full list of the giveaways here. While some of the giveaways are over, quite a few are still running. Head over to the site to enter; all you have to do is sign up for a Twined account and you’re on your way!

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Holmes Smart Air Purifier giveaway
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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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10 Products My Pixie Cut Can’t Live Without

2016 April 19
by Emily Hill

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No matter my style of pixie cut (long bangs, short bangs, fauxhawk), these are my must-have styling products for pixies. And yes, I use them all.

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10 Products My Pixie Cut Cant Live Without -- I have had one variation or another of a pixie cut for over 16 years. These are my absolute favorite products--and yes, I use all of them.


Post may include affiliate links to help support my Diet Coke habit.

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I got my first pixie cut when I was pregnant with Lauren over 16 years ago. It was your standard Halley Barry pixie—not my favorite variation. I did grow my hair out a couple times, but those styles never lasted long. All that round brushing and straightening—ain’t no one got time for that!

I would have time for that if they’d discovered dry shampoo 10 years ago…

With all that pixie practice comes product preference. Below you’ll find the 10 products my pixie cut can’t live without (in order of use). I’ll leave shampoo and conditioner up to you though I have recently fallen in love with the Proganix Quench shampoo and OGX Tea Tree Mint conditioner. That tea tree mint smells divine!

By the way, I’ve had everything from an a-line to a perm; you can see my past hair adventures here.

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Argan Oil
Step 1: Argan oil
Super moisturizing and super strengthening. A few drops once or twice a week after I’ve towel-dried my hair help repair any damage from processing.

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Proganix H2o Plus Electrolytes Quench Leave-In Moisture
Step 2: Proganix H2o Plus Electrolytes Quench Leave-In Moisture
Leave-in conditioner is always a good idea. I love this sulfate-free line, and I LOVE anything coconut. This spray has aloe, coconut oil and coconut water.

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Garnier Hair Care Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-frizz Serum
Step 3: Garnier Hair Care Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-frizz Serum
I’ve been using this anti-frizz serum forever. I’ve tried other anti-frizz solutions and they’re either too heavy, too oily or don’t work. This one’s the best—and it’s cheap!

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Tigi Catwalk Root Boost
Step 4: Tigi Catwalk Root Boost
I’ve used Catwalk Root Boost since my first a-line 15+ years ago. (Remember, I did grow out my pixie a couple times!) This aerosol spray gives the right amount of boost to my roots, and the can lasts forever.

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VERB Sea Spray
Step 5: VERB Sea Spray
My stylist introduced me to this spray about 6 months ago and it’s the first sea salt spray that hasn’t felt tacky or sticky. It provides the perfect texture and compliments the Root Boost.

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Thermal ceramic and ionic round brush
Step 6: Thermal ceramic & ionic round brush
If you have a super short pixie, you can cross this thermal round brush off your list. But for me and my bangs, I can’t do without it. I’ve gotten it down so I can straighten my bangs with only the brush and blow dryer, which lets me skip the time—and damage—of a flat iron.

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Double prong clips
Step 7: Double prong hair clips
No lie. I can’t live without these. Not only do they keep my bangs straight after blow drying, but they’re great for getting hair out of the way while doing makeup or washing your face. I have a couple in my gym bag, car door and purse and even on my nightstand.

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Schwarzkopf OSiS Flexwax
Step 8: Schwarzkopf Osis Flexwax
Similar to the anti-frizz serum, I’ve tried multiple pomades and waxes. This is my favorite because it’s a bit harder to mess up. It provides hold and texture and styling power without any greasiness. I’ve done slicked-back hair, pieced hair and fauxhawks with this stuff. It’s awesome.

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Schwarzkopf OSiS Freeze Finish 2
Step 9: Schwarzkopf OSiS Freeze hairspray
My favorite of all the hairsprays in the world. You can layer this stuff on and you won’t get any of that weird white residue that sometimes happens with other hairsprays. It stands up well to humidity (I’ve tried it in New York, Kentucky and Florida) and holds for hours.

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OSiS Sparkler Shine Spray
Step 10: OSiS Sparkler shine spray
This stuff smells SO good. For reals. It evokes memories of high school when that cute boy you’ve had a crush on since 5th grade walks by and his cologne makes you weak in the knees. It’s divine. Fabulous fragrance aside, this is the best shine spray out there. I’m addicted.

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When I’m not trying out a new pixie cut, I’m baking. You can check out my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board to see all the yummy desserts I’m whipping up!

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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